The most famous legend that is associated with the hill is the medieval heroic epic about Sigurd the Dragon Slayer in the Nibelungenlied (Song of the Nibelungs). According to the legend a dragon lived in a cave on the hill. The residents of the Rhine valley were terrified of the beast and because they were defenseless and without protection they sacrificed a virgin every year. One day, the young Sigurd rode up the river Rhine. He bravely climbed up the hill, challenged and killed the dragon. The dragon’s blood, that the young hero bathed in, was said to make him invincible.
Other legends state that the dragon sat on top of the hill to watch out for ships on the Rhine. As soon as a ship got close enough, the dragon would spit fire and happily watch sailors burn or drown. Then, one day, a ship, that sailors had filled up with explosives, came up the river. When the dragon set fire to the ship, it exploded and the beast was so shocked that it was never seen again.
Burgruine Drachenfels und Schloss Drachenburg
Photo: m66roepers, CC BY, via flickr.com